This is the latest in our series of personal accounts by Covid-19 vaccine-injured people.
IMMEDIATELY following my Covid vaccination, in July 2021, I had a strong and strange sensation that felt like freezing liquid entering my veins and slowly spreading throughout my body.
That night I was awoken by an agonising pain in my left calf; it kept me awake for several hours. The following day I realised the pain was coming from my lower back into my hip and down my leg. I had fierce pins and needles up to my knees and up to my elbows, they were fizzing furiously. In the following days and weeks I noticed that my lower back was numb and pains were in both sides of my body in lines down my legs. My right shoulder was in excruciating pain which ran down to my elbow and hands.
My continuing symptoms also include pressure headaches, ice-pick headaches, light sensitivity and migraines, nausea, heart palpitations and disabling fatigue.
These physical symptoms affect what I am able to do with my children, my ability to do housework, to work, to walk my dog, to engage in daily life. By far the worst thing for me has been the cognitive impairment, and I pray that this is only temporary. Every second word is one I can’t find in my brain. My children are talking about friends or teachers they have had for years and I know I should know who they are but at that moment my brain can’t find them. I constantly use the wrong words and don’t even know it. I miss several sentences in conversations.
I have become extremely forgetful; my poor dog has got used to being forgotten about in the garden when I’ve let him out to do his business. I can’t be trusted to cook alone, that’s if I have the energy. I set alarms for everything and then often can’t remember what the alarms are for. I can drive past streets I’ve driven on for most of my life and suddenly one day I don’t recognise them and I often forget where I am going and what for.
My days are a stream of forgotten and half-finished tasks, my brain is like soup and I wander around in a black fog trying to make some sense of my day. But when people see me, they just see the old me: they have no idea what lies beneath the surface, my daily struggles. They say ‘you just need to get out more’, ‘you just need to get back to work’, ‘lose some weight’, ‘be more positive’. Truth is I’m the most positive person I know because despite these symptoms I carry on with life and make sure I make the most of each day and enjoy my children every day that I can. I am hopeful that one day I will heal, but until then I will just keep going, keep the smile on my face for my children and keep hoping.